Sunday, October 16, 2011

ADHD Awareness Week

Starting today (October 16) through October 22 is ADHD Awareness Week.

I have been fortunate through my job to to have the opportunity to work on a very important project with five organizations comprising The ADHD Awareness Coalition. These groups, listed below, are helping to raise much-needed awareness about Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as it impacts nearly 13 million Americans including children and adults.

- ADDitude Magazine
- ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO)
- Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)
- Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)
- National Resource Center on AD/HD (NRC)

Many adults, interestingly, can go through a majority of their lives and remain undiagnosed with ADHD yet experience symptoms of the disorder, which impacts their lives both personally and professionally. It's often when these adults become parents and have children and witness symptoms in their kids that they then start to recognize their own symptoms, as there is a fifty percent chance that if a child has ADHD that one or both parents has the condition as well.

This is one of many reasons why ADHD awareness and education is so important to help people of all ages living with this condition to better understand symptoms and its impact on various aspects of life including relationships, work, school and more.

To help address some of the issues associated with undiagnosed or under managed ADHD the Coalition recently commissioned a survey of their members to identify some interesting insights about life with the disorder. The survey of over 2,000 individuals included both parents of children with ADHD and adults living with the disorder.

The survey, recently revealed, shows that there is especially an impact of ADHD on both children in school and adults in their work environments. The latter included job loss, too many jobs or ongoing issues at work. Further, according to the press release "parents of children with ADHD reported additional diagnoses such as anxiety (29 percent), depression (19 percent) and sleep disorders (14 percent). Parents of children with ADHD who have not been diagnosed with a co-occurring condition reported they suspect their child may have anxiety (35 percent), depression (15 percent) or a sleep disorder (38 percent)."

"The theme for ADHD Awareness Week this year is 'Get the Facts,' because our goal is to ensure that every person in America understands that ADHD is a real brain disorder with real consequences," said Ruth Hughes, CEO of Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), a member of the ADHD Awareness Coalition. "We know that undiagnosed and/or untreated ADHD can have a tremendous negative impact on individuals with the disorder, as well as their families, friends and colleagues. The purpose of ADHD Awareness Week has always been to help the public and policy makers understand that the key to improving the lives of those individuals is education and awareness."

The ADHD Awareness Coalition urges all of us to "Get the Facts" and take action to manage ADHD symptoms. More information about ADHD Awareness Week, the supporting organizations, and treatment and strategy options for managing ADHD, is available at http://www.adhdawarenessweek.org./

Together, let's help to raise awareness and attention for ADHD to help our children have more satisfactory school and social life experiences so they can grow into adults with their condition under control and managed to help them lead more effective and impactful lives.

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